Competition to Second Life®

At the last Town Hall meeting, where Philip Linden explained to us how Linden Lab will “facilitate” the selling of L$ for US$ in Second Life®, he mentioned how worried he is about competitors catching up with SL.

As a matter of fact, he mentioned the word “competitors” several times. This is the first time I atended a Town Hall meeting where Philip justified this action with […]this is the sort of things that if we didn’t do, a competitor of SL would.

For those that don’t understand the mechanism, it works like this: Linden Lab is quite open at having their users (“residents”) doing all “sort of things” that other companies strictly forbid. So, the copyright to your content in Second Life is yours, guaranteed by the Terms of Service – unlike other companies, whose worlds retain all copyrights (you are basically creating for them). Second Life also allows third-party sites to integrate with their world – actually, it encourages them. Instead of filing lawsuits against people who are creating “external” content and bring it in into Second Life, just like every other MMORPG (they consider that they have an exclusive monopoly on content), Linden Lab actually promotes these third-party sites actively. And finally, instead of sueing people who are selling Linden dollars at eBay, Linden Lab has worked closely with some companies to set up a system where you can exchange money in a free market.

Currently, at least three sites offer these facilities: IGE, Anshe Chung, and the e-Commerce site SL Exchange, which also sells L$ for US$.

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